I have gone instrument crazy over the past few weeks – musical instruments, by the way. I guess I could blame this on The Deer Creek Fiddler’s Convention early in June, or I could throw the fault on Common Ground on the Hill and their Roots Festival last weekend. But honestly, it’s all me.
I bought a used hammered dulcimer after the Fiddler’s Convention, and last weekend I bought a mountain dulcimer. Jamie plays both (you recall Jamie, my boyfriend who is a musical wizard and who provides for my auto needs since he works at Mr. Tire). All told, there were three trips to House of Musical Traditions in Takoma Park, one trip to Appalachian Bluegrass in Catonsville, and the weekend (yep, both days) at the Roots Festival at the Carroll County Farm Museum. Lots of miles, lots of money. Okay, not an exorbitant amount of money, but enough where I guess I’ll be going back on my Weight Watcher’s diet now (salad, salad, and more salad).
I love the string instruments. Guitars are still my first love, of course, but now I’m going to open up my hands and fingers to other strings. (Oh, did I mention I bought a mandolin last year after the Fiddler’s Convention and haven’t even started trying to learn that yet.) Oops, I forgot about the ukulele I picked up also (thanks to Dee, my nephew’s wife who now plays).
Look at it this way – even if I don’t learn these fine musical things scattered all over my house, at least Josh will be able to sell them and get some money after I’m gone – right? So I guess you could say I’m helping provide for him after I die? Okay, that’s a stretch.
Thanks to Jamie I’m already learning a few songs on the hammered dulcimer. And just like Jamie, I’ve become a hammer whore (his term, not mine). Yep, you read that correctly – we are both hammer whores. I think he’s got something like twenty or so pairs of hammered dulcimer hammers. I’ve got ten pairs. All different woods, all different handles, all different styles – all for different sounds on the strings. The pair I’m loving right now is single-sided rosewood with a heart cut-out and circles on the hammer heads. Stunning. Handmade by Bob Bedard in Catoosa, OK. Sweet guy – included a handwritten note when he shipped my other two pair of hammers. I highly recommend his hammers – beautiful in looks, magnificent in sound.
And if you’re interested in hearing some great music on both types of dulcimers, check out Dan Lundrum (hammered dulcimer) and Bing Futch (mountain dulcimer – totally awesome!).
It’s 8:30 am, Saturday morning. Buddy (my 9-year-old dachshund) is barking in the basement at the squirrels under the bird feeders. I’ve got the deck door open. Sunlight is filtering in through the trees behind the deck, crickets (locusts?) are doing their noisy thing in the woods, birds are chirping and singing to each other. My coffee is still decently warm as I sip in-between writing this blog. I’m waiting for delivery of my new mattress. Josh is coming home from Atlanta later today.
Life is exceptionally good.